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On September 16, 1810, the Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the bells of his church in Dolores, Guanajuato. A crowd of locals gathered around him on the front steps, and Hidalgo gave a passionate speech about the need for an independent Mexico, though today the exact words aren’t known.
Today, there are fiestas everywhere in Mexico to commemorate this symbolic beginning of the Mexican War of Independence against Spain. The end of the war finally came 11 long years later in 1821.
Hidalgo’s grito (cry, shout) is reenacted throughout Mexico on September 15, the night before the holiday, usually at 11 p.m. The most important available government official rings the bell that hangs from the front of the government palace in nearly every city and town. People fill the zocalo, the center square fronted by government buildings and the cathedral. They dance to live music, waiting for…
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So many things I wish I knew before I moved to Mexico six years ago: residency requirements, getting a job, finding an apartment, dealing with authorities, traveling around the country, and learning Spanish.
All those and more are in my new article What You Need to Know to Live in Mexico: Insider Tips, which I’m proud to say was chosen by Transitions Abroad as the 1st-place winner of their 2016 Expatriate Writing Contest.
Here are some tips from the article:
- Most visitors can stay as a tourist for six months. If you don’t plan on working (or getting the visa for permission to work), leave the country when the six months are finished and then simply come back for another six months.
- To find a job, ask for a job interview in person by visiting the company, not by email.
- Bring originals of all official documents, like your birth certificate and university transcripts, and get them officially certified with an apostille.
- Be polite and calm with authorities at all costs. Never show impatience or anger, or you will get nowhere.
- Don’t take first-class, long-distance buses in Mexico. Domestic flights are usually cheaper and obviously much faster.
- You don’t need to go to a school to learn Spanish, but can do it yourself with a 20-minute daily commitment. Some ideas: Learn grammar from a book, practice reading with the newspaper, practice listening with songs on YouTube, and practice speaking with a language exchange.
For more advice, details on those above, and lots of online resources, please read the article on Transitions Abroad. And thanks for visiting my blog.
Thanks a lot to Transitions Abroad for publishing my article 10 Tips for Cheap Immersion Travel in Latin America.
Click the link to read it, and please leave a comment on the story! I hope you find it helpful.